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 Post subject: Soldering
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:21 pm 
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Any one know of a good site that teaches you to solder or should i jus google it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 3:21 pm 
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google, or just teach your self :) soldering is not that hard


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 3:22 pm 
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I'd just try it yourself. You got the stuff? For soldering wire, it's pretty basic.

First, get the tools and supplies. I do it all the time at my job, so I got some good stuff to work with. The basics can be pretty cheap though.

I like my butane unit because you don't mess with cords, which I think is a PITA. But it's like a $90 blue-point (snap-on) model. It's a knock-off/copy of the Weller with a "blue-point" label which adds to the cost :p . An iron you plug into the wall can be had for about $10 at radioshack. Just get a couple tips with it, because I think the huge ones those come with are crummy for smaller work. Just plug it in and let it heat up. You'll have to "tin" a new iron, and in between uses, so google for that. tin solder iron how

You should also get a little sponge at this time and some solder. The sponge is used to wipe off the solder and slag when you use it. If you don't keep it clean, your solder joint gets dirty. You don't want that. And I like Kester brand solder. What I seem to keep and use alot is "44 rosin core" in a .031 diameter. I buy it in one lb. spools, but you can get smaller sizes. The .020 is too small for everything and the .031 is fine for about everything.

Get some heatshrink. Electrical tape is crap in the long run, and wingnuts are of no use in electronics. I prefer the "waterproof" type that has some glue type stuff in it. When you heat it, you can see the stuff ooze out the ends and you know it has a good seal. The cheaper stuff doesn't have this, and if you are off on size choice a bit, then it can slip around. Just get a couple different sizes as you'll need various sizes at some point. Take a note about colors. If you use a heatgun (like you're supposed to), then there's no problems. but if you use a lighter (which is wrong, but I do this anyway) it can turn the colored stuff black at points. But you need to cover your solder joint, and heatshrink is the only way to go IMO.

Now the soldering. The basic rule is to heat the component and apply the solder to the other side as you hold the iron on it. You heat the iron (you know it's ready when you tap solder to it and it melts) and hold it to one side of the wire, then somehow gently press the solder to the other side of the wire and let it flow into the joint/strands. With Rosin core, it smokes a bit. Hold the iron on just long enough to get the solder spread out nicely and then long enough to let it smoke JUST A BIT. Pull it off and let it cool. *note=if there's no way to get the heatshrink on or off after the soldering process, get it on the wire BEFORE soldering. Many a time I've screwed this up by not thinking ahead. Once it's soldered, you drag the heatshrink down over the joint and shrink it. If you forget to put the heatshrink on first, then you may have to cut the joint and do it all over again.

That's basically it. The rest is all cosmetics. A good soldering job intails getting all the heatshrink lengths the same and the wire lengths the same. It just looks nicer in the end. Another mistake I see is "Y-ing" the line. That's when you have the wires parallel and twist the wires together. I don't like this as it's just ugly and hard to do well. What I do is strip back about a 1/2-3/4" of the wire to be soldered. Then overlap them (I can post pictures of this if you like) and then wrap them over each other. This makes a narrow profile and a stronger hold. One good tug on a Y'ed connection can pull them apart...and again, it's ugly.

Crap...I left my iron in my shop! Ahh...I can post pics later:p

As far as soldering actual discrete compontents (resistors, caps, cktboards, etc...) I'd get some practice first. Getting one of these too hot can hurt the part and yourself. I've had components blow up while I was learning because I got them too hot. But in case you're feeling brave, you need to keep the temp juuuuuust hot enough to melt the solder, which may be a different type than the "general" stuff I've listed above. I won't go into this aspect though as, again, think you should play with wires first to get the hang of it.

And don't use a blade (knife, utilty blade, etc...) to strip wires. Get a wire stripper! I've moved on to an automatic strippers because they're nice while you dig through 150 terminals that need done before lunch. I like the smaller plier type on a budget: Snap-on
And these are the automatic ones I like:not the right picture. They look like a gun kinda.

Looks like they don't carry the soldering kit I have anymore and now have a cheaper unit for about $45.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 3:23 pm 
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toidiochysp wrote:
google, or just teach your self :) soldering is not that hard


Ive been doing it since 4th grade or so...to bad i dont have a steady hand for the precision stuff though :( I can do some pcb work but not much.

Wazer
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 6:09 pm 
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Heres a good idea

Go to home depo and ask a person there to teach you preferably some one with an apron on... :P :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 7:32 pm 
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ohh ohh the aprins wih saying " i am decicated to costomer service" hmm maybe radio shack will teach me


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:10 pm 
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get some wire and just go at it


doing is the best way to learn...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:54 am 
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Chumly wrote:
As far as soldering actual discrete compontents (resistors, caps, cktboards, etc...) I'd get some practice first. Getting one of these too hot can hurt the part and yourself. I've had components blow up while I was learning because I got them too hot. But in case you're feeling brave, you need to keep the temp juuuuuust hot enough to melt the solder, which may be a different type than the "general" stuff I've listed above. I won't go into this aspect though as, again, think you should play with wires first to get the hang of it.

Listen to Chumly here. You should have a couple of small clipon heatsinks that you clip on to the wire legs below the actual part (is that what they're called? I can't remember the correct term, doh! Getting old, got the brain damage, I'll probably get lost heading to work tomoroow, sheesh). Also, a stand of some sort to hold things in place is nice. Soldering can turn into finger gymnastics if you're not careful.

Now IC's are a totally different ball game and you're going to need specialized tips for removing and inserting them. 'Hacking the XBOX' has some good information on inserting and removing IC's and is a good read. When first starting out, do not try removing an IC unless you absolutely can lose the part and not care about it.

Also, I think you should just get a cheap $5 pair of wire strippers. Chumly is like super rich - like a fourth cousin of Bill or something. You'll get good with the cheapies real quick and no one, outside of employment, will ever strip so many wires to justify the cost of something else. Just my 2cents.

Most electronic stores sell small 'kits' that do various things - clocks, sounds makers, bugs, etc. They're real cheap, usually < $10, so pick up one or two of them - great practice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:00 am 
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Big Paa has a good point get some wire and a little circit from a toy shop for a little money find some tools like plyers and get a soderring iron and teach your self..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:22 pm 
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ill do so


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:46 pm 
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Two more items that may be of interest. One is that the are two types of flux cored solder 1) acid 2) rosin, make sure that you don't get the acid core. And second is that all fluxes are corrosive so even when you use the rosin cored solder try to clean off the residue with a "Q-tip" and some solvent, Isopropyl alchohol should work. Read more about it (it's PDF).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:00 pm 
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Quote:
make sure that you don't get the acid core.


I'll second that..the acid sometimes boils quickly and can spray.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:45 pm 
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Gadget wrote:
I can't remember the correct term, doh!
Thermal wick? I'm not sure if they had a real name or not, but that's just what they told me they were in 2M school (Navy).
Gadget wrote:
Also, I think you should just get a cheap $5 pair of wire strippers. Chumly is like super rich - like a fourth cousin of Bill or something.
Hey now, that first link is $13 which isn't bad for a snap-on tool anyone can make payments too ;) Chumly isn't super rich either, I just have a nice selection of tools over the years. The snap-on man has been good to me every where I've been. $20 or so a week and you can buy just about anything.
I just hate those $5 strippers you can get at walmart or whatever. They're usually dull, and the stripping part is in between the handles that is just plain awkward at times. I just like the little strippers like the first link above anything else. Jensen tools is a good place to order from if Radio Shack doesn't carry them.

Quote:
Most electronic stores sell small 'kits' that do various things - clocks, sounds makers, bugs, etc. They're real cheap, usually < $10, so pick up one or two of them - great practice.
Great idea! I never thought of the breadboard kits. Not only can you learn to solder, but you can make something along the way!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:40 pm 
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i am picking up a iron tomorrow :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:53 pm 
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gamerfreak wrote:
i am picking up a iron tomorrow :lol:

Remember to get one that allows you to change the tips. You'll probably want two tips to begin with. The first should be pretty small/narrow, a bit finer than the head of a pin. The second a bit fatter. The first you'll use with most electronic parts, and the second with most electrical parts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:55 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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Chumly wrote:
Gadget wrote:
I can't remember the correct term, doh!
Thermal wick? I'm not sure if they had a real name or not, but that's just what they told me they were in 2M school (Navy).
Gadget wrote:
Also, I think you should just get a cheap $5 pair of wire strippers. Chumly is like super rich - like a fourth cousin of Bill or something.
Hey now, that first link is $13 which isn't bad for a snap-on tool anyone can make payments too ;) Chumly isn't super rich either, I just have a nice selection of tools over the years. The snap-on man has been good to me every where I've been. $20 or so a week and you can buy just about anything.
I just hate those $5 strippers you can get at walmart or whatever. They're usually dull, and the stripping part is in between the handles that is just plain awkward at times. I just like the little strippers like the first link above anything else. Jensen tools is a good place to order from if Radio Shack doesn't carry them.

Quote:
Most electronic stores sell small 'kits' that do various things - clocks, sounds makers, bugs, etc. They're real cheap, usually < $10, so pick up one or two of them - great practice.
Great idea! I never thought of the breadboard kits. Not only can you learn to solder, but you can make something along the way!

Maybe it is called a thermal wick - looks kind of like a roach clip that you attach to the part?

As for the wire strippers, I tend to prefer the bigger ones with thicker wires and the narrow, by-hand kind, with thinner wires.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:36 pm 
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i got one from radio shack today. i didnt get a spare tip. ill post some pix


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:40 pm 
Boy in Black
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If anyone also wants to get into soldering, I have a Weller soldering iron that I have not used in years. Too bad I just remembered this or Gamerfreak could have had it for the cost of postage:p


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:15 pm 
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i could use a better 1 if u still want to get rid of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:24 pm 
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hmmmm i probebly dont need it. In teh long run ill prob not use it to much. Thanks anyway :D


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